Wellness is generally used to mean a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being. In my research to determine what wellness means to indoor cycling instructors, I came across another definition of wellness, used by the National Wellness Institute – that definition: “Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.”
Therefore, how do we connect wellness (as a choice) to its actual application in indoor cycling? That connection can be explained through my Indoor Cycling Instructor Wellness System, a set of five interdependent elements as described below:
- Personal Beliefs: inclusive of personal core values such as spirituality, integrity, dedication and commitment to excellence. The personal belief system varies by instructor but remains the driving force and the motivational principal of overall wellness. With a personal belief system, you become resilient, well grounded and you will garner the respect of your students and peers.
- Physical Abilities: supplemented by personal beliefs, these abilities propel you to excel at what you do and seek to constantly improve your overall fitness levels, physical strengths, mental tenacity and preparedness.
- Emotional Connectivity: remaining grounded, compassionate, understanding and keenly aware of the impact of emotions on your students’ workout results. Reaching out to students, knowing their names, listening, offering support, acknowledging their challenges (personal, financial, etc.), encouraging participation and reinforcing positive actions are a few stages along the emotional connectivity roadmap.
- Vocational Capabilities: are the instructor’s skills, learned abilities and acquired knowledge from training classes, certifications, workshops and continuing education. These capabilities are instrumental in enriching our lives as coaches and leaders. With that vocational knowledge we can also enrich other people’s lives, impart positive change and influence by example.
- Social Awareness: being aware and accepting that people are shaped by their socioeconomic circumstances, demographics, cultural and personal differences. The common denominator, however, is the desire to improve one’s health through exercise. And that unites us all.
This, of course, is based on my personal experiences throughout several years of teaching indoor cycling classes. I believe that this wellness system exists and varies for each instructor. I also believe that regardless of where you teach and the style you have adopted, having a wellness system is critical to your continued success and to your well-being.